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   Information Center Nigeria
Nigeria General Information
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Nigeria Population


The population of Nigeria in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 124,009,000, which placed it as number 10 in population among the 193 nations of the world. It is the most populated country in Africa. In 2003 approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 44% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 101 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000-2005 is 2.53%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 161,726,000. The population density in 2002 was 141 per sq km (364 per sq mi). Regional differences are significant; population is densest in the south and sparsest in the north.

It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 44% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The principal cities include Lagos, the former capital and still the largest city, with an estimated metropolitan population of 13,488,000 and the highest population density of any major African urban conglomeration. The capital city, Abuja, had a population of 403,000 in 2003. Ibadan had a metropolitan population of 1,739,000 people, and Kano had over 1 million. According to the UN, the urban population growth rate for 2000-2005 was 4.1%.

The prevalence of AIDS/HIV has had a significant impact on the population of Nigeria. The UN estimated that 5.8% of adults between the ages of 15-49 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001. The AIDS epidemic causes higher death and infant mortality rates, and lowers life expectancy.


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years: 41.7% (male 31,171,949/female 29,806,204)
15-64 years: 55.3% (male 41,243,003/female 39,611,565)
65 years and over: 3% (male 2,152,318/female 2,270,267) (2008 est.)

Median age
total: 18.9 years
male: 18.8 years
female: 19 years (2008 est.)

Population growth rate
2.025% (2008 est.)

Birth rate
37.23 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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